The New Student's Reference Work/Sebastopol
Sebastopol (sḗ-bȧs′tṓ-pṓl′), a Russian seaport and fortress, is near the southwestern end of the Crimea, on the southern side of one of the finest harbors in the world. The place is celebrated for its long siege by the French, Turks and English in the Crimean War of 1854-5. The town and harbor were defended by forts of immense strength, built of limestone faced with granite, on which artillery made little impression. On the land-side the earthworks and fortifications raised by General Todleben kept the armies of France and England at bay for 11 months. But the capture of the Malakoff and Redan works at length forced the Russians to evacuate the lines. The town was mined and the docks and forts blown up by the allies. The fortifications and docks have since been rebuilt. The imports are mainly cotton and coal; the exports, grain. The town was founded in 1783 under orders of Empress Catharine II. Population 53,595, including a garrison of 12,000. See Leo Tolstoi's Sebastopol.